Awareness of ADHD of Children
Millions of US children are diagnosed with psychological disorders. ADHD is one of the most common out there. Children with ADHD have difficulty focusing and keeping themselves calm and controlled. This can be so severe that it interferes with their ability to reach their full potential. Even more detrimental is the inability for many adults to understand or properly interact with children with ADHD. ADHD is a very real condition.
ADHD is one of the most controversial topics in the psychiatric health world. Approximately 72% of people believe ADHD is real, while 28% think it isn’t (Debate: ADHD). ADHD is a complicated disorder to diagnose. People who believe ADHD isn’t real say there is nothing to prove the disease, that it is all just based off of a doctor’s opinion. ADHD can’t be seen with a brain scan or blood tests, so doctors have to rely on other methods to diagnose the disease. DSM requires a patient to exhibit only 5 out of the 18 symptoms in order to be diagnosed (Time). This causes some to say it is overdiagnosed.
On the contrary, ADHD diagnosis is not taken lightly. There are multiple steps taken to make an accurate diagnosis. Medical professionals review the patient’s history, and from many sources such as. For example, teachers, parents, coaches, etc. (Science-Based Medicine). According to a commenter on Debate, “Of course ADHD is real! It’s been proven time and time again. It is not caused by poor parenting, sugar, or too much TV or video games, contrary to popular belief. It doesn’t discriminate against gender, age, race, religion, or social class. It is a spectrum disorder. Some who have it may have it slightly while some have it severely”. More than ⅔ of children with ADHD also have another psychological condition. Anxiety, depression, behavioral disorders, and learning disorders are some examples (CHADD). While it is true that all children can get bored easily at times, act impulsive, or have a lack of focus, children with ADHD exhibit severe versions of those symptoms. According to Figure 1 from The Washington Post, Girls will be withdrawn, have low self-esteem, and verbally aggressive. This causes them to get in trouble at school, home, and any other place they may be. As you can see in Figure 2, boys will be affected differently. They will be extremely impulsive and act out, hoping to receive attention. They can be physically aggressive. These children don’t know how else to get attention and are so unfocused they act out.
ADHD is much more common than most people realize. Approximately 6.4 million American children aged 4-17 have been diagnosed with ADHD (ADHD Awareness Month). There are many people who believe that ADHD is overdiagnosed. To be exact, 62% think it is overdiagnosed, while 72% think doctors are too quick to diagnose (Huffington Post). Those people tend to back their beliefs up with the fact that ADHD numbers have skyrocketed over the years. Since 2002, the number of children aged 4-17 with ADHD has increased by over 2 million (CDC). The reasoning behind this is that our knowledge of ADHD has gotten larger and doctors now can differentiate between ADHD symptoms and kids just being kids and acting up (ADHD Awareness Month). More than two times the amount of boys are diagnosed compared to girls. 1 in 5 highschool boys are diagnosed, while 1 in 11 girls are (CDC).
Treatment of ADHD can be done with many different approaches. These include parent training, skills training, behavioral training, counseling, and medication. Medication has been proven to be the most effective. There is an 80% chance that medication will help (CHADD). Parents, on average, wait 2 years after their child starts to display symptoms of ADHD to seek professional help (Huffington Post). This is because the stigma against ADHD and treatment stops parents from getting their children help. Luanne Southern states, “Unless ADHD hits close to home, one may never totally understand it”. There have been countless studies on Ritalin, which is the most common medication taken for ADHD. Some think that taking medication is unsafe, but as Dr. Levin states, “We have countless scientific studies on the safety of Ritalin. In fact, some of the drugs children take routinely for asthma and cancer haven’t been studied nearly as much as Ritalin”. While that may be true, there are some possible side effects of the medications. For example, the patient could experience sleep deprivation or loss of appetite. ADHD is a condition that should be taken seriously. It is essential that is is understood by everyone. Children with ADHD have trouble completing tasks that seem so simple to others. There are millions of US children that are diagnosed with this disorder and the number is just continuing to increase.
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